The fishing went off the chart the during May and has not stopped yet. The water cleaned up and settled into it's normal temperature range of above 80 degrees. Also, the weather became stable and very seasonal. Just what the fish and the fishermen were looking for.
Local inshore waters of Clearwater Harbor and St. Joseph Sound will continue to shine as June arrives. All of our local species will go on tearing up the waters from the beaches to the back waters.
Tarpon: Get out early, I mean early, way before first light. Look for the tarpon to be along the beaches, rolling and moving with the tides. Popular locations to start are Clearwater Pass bridge in the shadow lines, along north Clearwater beach all the way to north Honeymoon Island. Cruise along the beach from 100 yards to 1/4 mile out. Having your baits hooked up and ready to cast is a must. Best baits will be large live white baits, silver dollar size crabs and cut bait, for example, half a lady fish on the bottom. Remember to give lots of distance and clearance to anchored boats as they are waiting for tarpon to come to them. Tarpon will spook very easily.
Snook: Look for snook to be in their spawning locations, in passes, along the swash channels near the passes and out on the beaches. I will be using medium white baits and grunts to catch these linesiders. Cast these free lined baits out and let them drift into the strike zones. A float can be used around rocks and jetties to keep the baits from hanging up. When a snook bites, hang on and get it in quickly. They will have a better chance of surviving. Remember to release very carefully and let them spawn. Keeping a snook is still out of season.
Redfish: The big schools have scattered and taken up residence all around the mangrove and oyster bar areas. It may take some time looking for their location. When you find them, a little bit of chumming with cut up white bait should help with the bite. Toss out small to medium white baits on a float and give it some time. If nothing happens, move on.
Trout: They will be found in the passes and inside the passes around grassy areas where there is moving water. Small to medium white baits and small pinfish will be the ticket. Set up on a grass flat and cast out a couple of live baits. If they are home, have fun. Keep moving around and checking out other grass areas, you will find the trout.
If this is not enough to keep you happy, try along the beaches for mackerel, king fish, cobia, sharks, jacks and lady fish. Everything is chewing so get out there.
Capt. Gary Burch owns and operates All Catch Charters and specializes in live baits and artificials. He guides inshore, flats and backcountry from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. To reach Capt. Gary for a charter, please call 727 458-6335 or visit his website:
Capt. Gary Burch